In Memory of Andy Malcolm
It is sad to have to report the recent death of Andy Malcolm, the ex-West Ham, Chelsea and QPR pro-footballer.
He was a busy, energetic quality half-back who played 94 first team games for the R’s and scored 6 goals. Although the prime of his playing career was spent with West Ham and Chelsea, he did give wonderful service for QPR FC in his stay at the club from October 1962 to the end of the 1964/65 season, following a ¬£12,000 transfer from Chelsea.
Andy Malcolm scored very few goals throughout his entire playing career but of those he did chalk up, a fair percentage were long distance thunderbolt strikes from outside the box. This was especially evident during his time at QPR FC when the cry of “Hit One Andy” often rang out amongst the R’s faithful when he was in a shooting position outside the opposition’s penalty area.
The best goal I ever saw him score was the 20-yard pile-driver winner against Reading in a Division 3 fixture at the White City on 17th November 1962 which Rangers won 3-2. Fortunately to this day there is still an example of his very occasional goalscoring exploits via the internet. On ‘You Tube’ you can pick up a TV news clip of the QPR v Gillingham FA Cup tie at Loftus Road on 16th November 1963, when the R’s were triumphant with a 4-1 win, wherein Andy scored with a terrific shot.
You could possibly say that from a Queen’s Park Rangers supporters’ perspective, the signing of Andy Malcolm was a case of the right player at the wrong time in the wrong team. Despite the fact that his footballing talent shone out like a beacon amid a general fog of mediocrity, there was not much he alone could do to prevent the on-field decline of the R’s Third Division fortunes during that quite miserable February 1963-May 1965 era. If only Queen’s Park Rangers had signed him two years earlier, but alas life is full of “if onlys”.
God Bless you Andy Malcolm, Rest in Peace. It was a privilege to have seen you play.
Bernard Lambert (Kerrins)
On October 22nd 1962, ‘Ranger’ welcomed Andy Malcolm in his Club Notes section of the Hull City programme as follows:
‘Andy Malcolm who used to be known to his West Ham team mates as “Smiler” – because he rarely smiles on the field – also brings with him to QPR the title “The Shadow”.
For in a career of league football which has so far spanned ten years and 310 appearances, he has shut some of the best inside forwards – Johnny Haynes, Jimmy Greaves, Roy Vernon, Jimmy McIlroy and Peter Broadbent among them – out of a game by his tight marking.
Being tackled by Malcolm even in a practice match was likened by one of his former colleagues at Upton Park to “falling in front of a train”. Yet there is only 5ft 8ins and 11st 6lbs of this so-handy Andy.
Born in East Ham 20 years ago, Malcolm played for Romford Boys, then England schools. He joined the West Ham office staff on leaving school and turned professional on his 17th birthday. He played 302 League and FA Cup matches with West Ham, winning a 1957-58 Second Division championship medal and Football League representative honours too.
On November 1st last year, Andy was transferred to Chelsea in the deal which took Ron Tindall to West Ham. He was ever-present for the rest of the season in the Chelsea line-up.
Andy lives at Hornchurch and will continue to do so. He and his wife Alison have two sons, Nicholas (three-and-a-half), and Paul, 18 months.’
He left the R’s in 1965 to move to South Africa and went on to play for Westview Appollon and Port Elizabeth City. Two years later he returned to England and signed for Brentwood Town After he retired from the game he worked for Lyons’ and later went on to manage three Essex pubs before returning to South Africa in 1986.
Andy Malcolm sadly passed away on Boxing Day 2013 after a short illness.
Rest in Peace Andy and God Bless.
(My thanks to Gordon Macey for the above pic)